Malaga was woken on Thursday morning by a fierce hailstorm that left unprecedented wintry scenes in the east and central areas of the city.
At around 6.45am heavy rain and thunder and lightning gave way to hailstones that settled where they fell, covering streets, parks and beaches in white.
In Limonar, a residential area east of the city centre, the hailstones formed a layer of up to 30 centimetres deep, bringing traffic to a standstill and preventing residents from leaving their homes.
Parents were told not to attempt to take their children to the schools on this side of the city while residents struggled to free their vehicles or make their way on foot on icy pavements.
The storm caused chaos for commuters on the city’s eastern bypass where tailbacks of up to 20 kilometres formed at the usual morning rush hour, between the San José tunnel and Rincón de la Victoria.
Traffic was also held up on the Guadalhorce A-357 motorway, especially near the exits for the university and the PTA technology park.
City buses became trapped in the Cerrado de Calderón area, among others where roads were blocked.
The heavy rain in the early hours of Thursday morning caused flooding in the city as well as in the Guadalhorce Valley. The Maqueda and Cantos streams broke their banks in Campanillas and the road linking this area with Cártama was closed. Several incidents due to flooding in Cártama Estación were reported.
The amber weather warning issued by the state meteorological agency Aemet for heavy rain was in place for the Costa del Sol area until midnight on Thursday. At the time of going to press the yellow severe weather warning for rain was still in force for Friday and Saturday.